Junior Auxiliary member Sarah Heinkel, holding a Pop-Tart, talks to children at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus Tuesday about foods they typically eat and healthier options. Photo by: Zach Odom/Dispatch Staff
July 12, 2014 10:56:17 PM
The Junior Auxiliary of Columbus presented its Fit and Fabulous Forever project at the Boys and Girls Club in Columbus July 8.
Also known as F3, the program teaches students how to create healthy eating habits and encouraged them to exercise through play.
"Junior Auxiliary of Columbus is happy to partner with The Boys and Girls Club to present F3 -- Fit and Fabulous Forever -- to this enthusiastic group of kids," said JA's public relations chairperson, Summer Graham. "The goal of this project is to instill healthy eating and exercise habits in the children of Lowndes County at an early age."
Through participation, children learn how to make healthier food choices at restaurants, to balance a meal, to be informed about food content, to experience ways to exercise that do not require gym or special equipment, and to discuss exercise options found at area parks.
Seven-year-old Tyquavious Hughes said he enjoyed the F3 event because he learned what foods were healthy for him.
"I'm learning about my plate and what to put on my plate," Hughes said. "Peaches is for fruits, corn is for your grains, mashed potatoes are for your protein, and dairy is for milk," he said.
Hughes said tacos are his favorite food, but now that he knows peaches are fruits on the food pyramid, he'll be eating a lot more of those.
Boys and Girls Club Director Antoine Walker said he feels the event is a fun way for kids to learn about healthy choices.
"From what I've seen it's been successful," Walker said. "I think the kids really enjoy it, and they're learning at the same time."
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, obesity among Mississippi students and children has historically been among the highest in the nation, a JA press release cited. Mississippi children eat less nutritious meals and get less physical activity today than in the past, which increases the likelihood of a future of chronic diseases and shorter lifespans.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.